(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Whatever I'm doing at age 61—it'll be long after the final death throe of print media's ugly, protracted demise—I'm hoping I sound half as energized as Alejandro Escovedo does on his latest record, Big Station. (I'm also hoping for robots.) The Texas songwriter, who cheated death last decade by defeating hepatitis after having already written a lifetime's worth of great songs, keeps things simple on Big Station, opting for a blaring, big-party vibe on much of the record. The lovely, strumming "Bottom of the World" is excellent fan bait, but the record's most interesting moments are when Escovedo tests his already spacious boundaries, as on thumping album opener "Man of the World," which would have been a huge hit for John Cougar Mellencamp in 1985, and slinky closer "Sabor a Mi," Escovedo's first song recorded in Spanish. Note that tonight's show starts at 8, an hour earlier than usual for the Doug Fir. NED LANNAMANN
TORCHE, LOZEN, NORSKA
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) To these ears, Miami heavy rock four-piece Torche is pure ear candy (as opposed to the pure nose candy associated with Miami's KC and the Sunshine Band). Torche is heavy, and there are hooks aplenty, and the production is as squeaky clean as a goddamn Rihanna single. My 13-year-old self would have prematurely ejaculated upon hearing this band. These current old bones—only a slight variation of my teenage self—likes them, too. They're what Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters wish they sounded like: Able to impressively balance melody with metal, pop hooks with punk 'tude, and tongue-in-cheek with heart-on-sleeve—all summed up in the brilliant "Kiss Me Dudely." MARK LORE
THE MEMORIES, K-TEL '79, CORAL STABZ
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) With bedroom jams, sugar-sweet stoned-out melodies, and filthy lyrics, the Memories are the kind of band that charms your pants off even while they're staring at your boobs. Catch the group—which shares members with party-'til-you-pass-out rockers White Fang—as they make some of the loveliest, trashiest sounds around. NED LANNAMANN
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